Cam Newton has announced that he plans to undergo foot surgery and will miss the rest of the 2019 season. Landing on the injured reserve list in November, he would have been eligible to return for the first round of the playoffs. But with the 5-7 Panthers on the outside of the postseason picture, Newton decided to shut himself down and take on the surgery.

This comes on the heels of the surprise dismissal of head coach Ron Rivera with just five games left in the 2019 season. Rivera, who served as head coach since 2011 was surprised and expected to finish out the season. On Rivera’s departure, Newton said he was “hurt deep”. With the schedule dwindling down, it looks like the Panthers have some work to do to pick up a few broken pieces.

Newton suffered a Lisfranc fracture in the preseason, but managed to appear in two games to start the 2019 season. The former MVP proved disappointing as the Panthers opened to an 0-2 start. Second-year backup Kyle Allen took over in Week 3 and Newton was placed on injured reserve early November.

The three-time Pro Bowler and 2015 MVP was the first round draft pick in the 2011 draft and led the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance in the 2015-16 season despite falling to the Broncos 24-10. He now enters the final year of his $100 million contract signed in 2015, and with that have come talks that he himself would welcome a trade out of Carolina. The Chicago Bears may serve as a potential destination.

The Panthers, who face a 5-7 record, are coming off their fourth straight loss. The defense, who has been a staple for Carolina teams in the past, has struggled and become one of the teams’ many flaws, especially when it comes against the run. Allen has lost some allure after providing relief for Newton, and the growing pains of a young quarterback, especially with his recent streak of turnovers, have been challenging.

Perry Fewell, former Panthers defensive backs coach, will serve as interim head coach as they gear up to take on the Falcons (3-9) in Atlanta December 8 on FOX.

 

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